I grow weary of all the hatefulness that is going on in the world right now. I love social media (specifically Facebook and Instagram), for its ability to connect with my long-distance family and friends, but also for all of the inspirational things that I am blessed by and can pass on to bless others. That being said, it’s when I look in the comments, that my heart grows sad.

We have a “local gossip” FB group/page for the town where I live. Someone had posted that there was a wreck at X and Y (not naming the streets, but you get the picture) and that they hoped everyone involved was okay. According to this post, there were children in the vehicle at the time. I live in “small town” rural Indiana, so they were probably just putting that out there to make sure it wasn’t someone they knew and that they were okay…or they were just being nosy…regardless, I do give them kudos on their approach. I pray every time I hear an ambulance, that they get to the scene in time and that everyone is saved and okay. If you believe that there is still goodness in the world, STOP RIGHT THERE. DO NOT read the comments. It’s a friendly warning. You will be sorely disappointed if you do read them.

So, in wondering if anyone stated who was involved (and truly wondering if they’re okay), I do read the comments. A few “I hope they’re okay” sentiments, then…it launches into barrages of “well, they were probably methed out,” “stupid people don’t know how to drive,” “damned women drivers,” “I’m sure those kids weren’t in proper car seats — has anyone called DCS?” and “those kids should be taken away from their parents.” Not. Even. Kidding.

REALLY? SERIOUSLY? What happened to loving your neighbor??? How about “I’m praying everyone involved is okay.” I mean, if they bothered to go to our local paper’s Facebook page, they’d see the story and know that the OTHER vehicle was at fault, as reported in the story. They’d see that the OTHER vehicle’s driver was driving on a suspended license, which spawned another Facebook post about their arrest. However, the public jury has decided that the vehicle hit was at fault and the adults were impaired. As for the one who hit the other car, I don’t know what his mindset was. Maybe he was late for a “last chance” job and his judgment was just poor. I really don’t know, I wasn’t there. BUT, I didn’t condemn anyone. Stuff happens. Life happens. That’s why it’s called an “accident,” I’m assuming? This seriously makes me scratch my head. Was this a thing that I tuned out when my final domestic battery happened in 2018???? I’m glad I was off Facebook for the month before, the month of, and the month after. I don’t want to hear that I had it coming, that it was because he caught me cheating (which was his allegation/justification), or that I should have my kids taken away for him beating me in front of them — I feel blessed that I didn’t have to see that. I felt bad enough as it was!

In addition, we had a local law enforcement person get asked to leave the school system for an indiscretion. At first, the comments were harsh, but THEN people started attacking one another. When did we get so combative? I know social media emboldens people, but if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, WHY would you post that on social media for the WORLD to see? It’s there forever and people certainly remember hate! In fact, some people were threatening to harm one another. I reported it to the Admin, who messaged me back that it was a “public forum,” so I then escalated and reported it to Facebook. The post was removed. Everyone has the right to their opinion and people can disagree with that opinion, but this is worth violence???

At what point did disagreeing become “disrespect?” We can respectfully disagree and still be civil…RIGHT??? Perhaps? I guess not, sadly. That is the great thing about this country: we have the freedom to disagree. I was taught to disagree respectfully. You hear what the other person has to say and let them finish speaking. Then, you state that you respectfully disagree and your reasoning. It’s common discourse. Well, maybe not so common anymore?

I do not like the tide where disagreeing = disrespect. It’s not true. I respect your right to your opinion. At least you stand for something. Too many times too, apathy is a choice and someone doesn’t want to rock the boat. That is their choice also, so please be respectful! Harmony is a wonderful thing. We can live in harmony and not agree. Harmony means that people are healthy and respectful and working toward bettering themselves and their community. No wonder we’ve become the laughing stock of the world…we are too worried about battling and being “better than” our neighbors. At this point, another country could invade us and easily take over. I don’t want that to happen, but it could at this point. We must let go of all the pettiness in the world! Please! Can’t we all find common ground and just get along? For the children? For the betterment of our communities? For peaceful relations?

I’d love to teach a respectful discourse class (respectfully disagreeing isn’t dissenting, folks), as we were taught that in speech class. Also, the proper way to sell/do business would be a good thing to re-teach, but don’t get me on my soap box!